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Music Powered Play Games Rated ESRB EVERYONE and Younger

Music has been an important part of video games since specialised sound chips made composing and playing back music possible during the advent of 8-bit home computers in the 80s. This gave many games a unique sound, but it was how the music interacted with gameplay that was really interesting.

We worked on this list of games where music is integral to play with Andreas Zecher. He runs the amazing Polylists resource, a website for those working in games to share lists of recommended games under self-chosen topics. His list, here, features games where music goes further than just providing a great soundtrack. In these games, music is at the core of the player’s experience. Some putting players in a state of flow, and others reacting to the player's every action like an instrument being played.

The sensory experiences of Tetris Effect Connected or Thumper would not be possible without the music that they are based on. Everyday Shooter and Sayonara Wild Hearts let players interactively experience a lo-fi indie rock and frenzy pop music album respectively. Sound Shapes is a clever platformer that doubles as a 16-step sequencer, common in the creation of electronic dance music. These games spark curiosity in how music works as they explore rhythm, harmonies and the joy of performing and actively listening to music.

This list includes 22 games from the last 16 years, with 68 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to .

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 7
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE
Australian Ratings: G
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 68
 

 

Everyday Shooter

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-13 year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2008

Platforms: PC, PS Vita and PS3

Genres: Action and Shooting

Developer: Mango Lychee (@Mango_Lychee)

Players: This is a single-player game

Everyday Shooter is a collection of shooting games presented as a music album. The shooting action is familiar but here the dissolute sounds of destruction are replaced with guitar riffs harmonizing over the soundtrack. The visuals join in the...

Bit Trip (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 28/04/2009, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and iOS

Genres: Action, Platform and Shooting

Developer: Totally Choice (@TotallyChoice)

Players: This is a single-player game

Bit Trip (Bit.Trip) is a series of games with a focus on simple game-play, retro visuals and chip-tune music. The games range from pong to platforming but each one requires you to play in time to the music.

140

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 16/10/2013, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Carlsen Games (@CarlsenGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

140 is a sliding, rolling and jumping game where you control a changing geometric shape to traverse a minimalist world. It's challenging for the timed jumps and reactions but keeps distractions to a minimum with its abstract colorful graphics.

LocoRoco

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 23/06/2006

Platforms: PS Vita, PS4 and PSP

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Traversal

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

This creates a world of plants and creatures to investigate. The novelty, besides the character’s singing and cute aesthetic, is that you control the game with just two buttons, tilting and bumping your characters through each level.

Cadence of Hyrule

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 13/06/2019

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Rhythm

Developer: BYG Vancouver‬ (@BYG_Vancouver‬)

Players: You can play with 1 to 2 players in the same room

Cadence of Hyrule is a Zelda infused version of a popular rhythm action indie game called Crypt of the NecroDancer. Like the original you go on an adventure viewed from above and progressed by moving, attacking and dodging in time with the music.

Railbound

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Brain Game, Puzzle and Sequencing

Developer: Afterburn Games (@AfterburnGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Railbound is a track-bending puzzle game where you lay track, switch points and use tunnels to get the carriages to the engine in the right order. Although it's the puzzles that keep you playing, there's also a real joy in connecting tracks and seeing...

Miska

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Umbrella Party Co (@UmbrellaPartyCo)

Players: This is a single-player game

Miska is a relaxing narrative adventure game about the flora and fauna of Australia. Rekindle your connection to family and nature through acts of restoration.

Supertype

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-11 year-olds

Release Date: 26/03/2018

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Creative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: Kamibox Ph (@Kamibox_Ph)

Players: This is a single-player game

Supertype is a puzzle game you play with letters, but isn't about making words. You use the peculiar shapes of these most familiar of symbols to cover one or more dots on the level. Each letter has different uses as you try and get them to land where...

Rhythm Paradise

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 31/07/2008, updated in 2016

Price: 70% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Wii and Wii U

Genres: Rhythm

Developer: tsunkuboy (@tsunkuboy)

Players: This is a single-player game

Rhythm Heaven (also known as Rhythm Paradise, Rhythm World and Rhythm Tengoku) is a Japanese rhythm game where you perform everyday action in time with a musical beat.

Sound Shapes

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-13 year-olds

Release Date: 07/08/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PS Vita, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Creative, Platform, Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Mango Lychee (@Mango_Lychee)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sound Shapes is simple rolling and jumping game where you make music by completing the levels. It features music from artists such as Beck and visual elements from other games and game makers. Originally on the Vita, it uses that systems touch screens...

Super Sports Beat

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-11 year-olds

Release Date: 28/10/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Rhythm and Sports

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room

Super Bear Sports is a sports rhythm game where you move your character in time with the music to swing, volley, and score points in different events.

Tetris Effect: Connected

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7-16 year-olds

Release Date: 09/11/2018, updated in 2021

Price: 50% off

Platforms: Oculus, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Puzzle and Rhythm

Developer: Mizuguchitter (@Mizuguchitter)

Players: You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game

Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle game (just like the original Tetris) but with a surprisingly powerful aesthetic twist. The game places each level in a themed area and ties gameplay to the beat of the music across its thirty different stages.

Conga Master

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/09/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Puzzle and Race

Developer: Undercoders (@Undercoders)

Players: You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room

Conga Master is an action dancing game about getting the most people to join your conga line. It's like the classic Nokia game Snake with an unusual dancing twist. Play involves using two buttons to steer left or right. You dance your way around a club,...

Onde

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/03/2022

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Lance Studio (@LanceStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Onde is an ethereal movement and exploration game where you dive into a fluid world full of sounds. As you move through the abstract landscapes they respond with notes and music. It's an unusual experience because the interactions invite you not only to...

Sonority

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 25/05/2022

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Brain Game, Puzzle, Sequencing and Traversal

Developer: HG Interactive (@HG_Interactive)

Players: This is a single-player game

Sonority is a fantasy adventure where you progress by solving musical puzzles. You help Esther explore a lost world to collect musical notes and playing arrangements next to blocks to unlock the way forward. What's clever is the connection between the...

The Lullaby of Life

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 24/07/2020

Platforms: iPhone, iPad

Genres: Creative and Puzzle

Developer: 1 Simple Game (@1SimpleGame)

Players: This is a single-player game

The Lullaby of Life is a rhythm puzzle game where you use music as the catalyst to trigger new lifeforms. You float around to explore a music-driven world. To progress through different areas you need to use the three notes you have on your creature,...

HarmoKnight

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 5-12 year-olds

Release Date: 28/03/2013

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS

Genres: Platform and Rhythm

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Game Freak Info (@GameFreak_Info)

Players: This is a single-player game

HarmoKnight (Rhythm Hunter: HarmoKnight in Japan) is a rhythm based running, jumping and whacking game. You play a boy named Tempo who is fighting enemies with a musical note staff. You are joined by an archer named Lyra, a buff warrior named Tyko, and...

Melodyssey

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Brain Game, Rhythm and Sequencing

Developer: Nel Pastel Studio (@NelPastelStudio)

Players: This is a single-player game

Melodyssey is a music puzzle game in a calm stress free exploration adventure. You play a young child journeying through a musical landscape looking for musical inspiration. It stands out for the pastel presentation, simple block moving thinky puzzles...

Ecstatic

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/06/2022

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Shooting and Traversal

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: Punkcake Delice (@Punkcake_Delice)

Players: This is a single-player game

Ecstatic is a fast and hard retro shooting game where you control a mechanical Spider that freezes time and shoots rockets. You need to both keep moving and keep shooting to stay alive. It's like what are sometimes described as bullet-hell games,...

Oddada

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-8 year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Creative, Rhythm and World Building

Developer: Sven Ahlgrimm (@SvenAhlgrimm)

Players: This is a single-player game

Oddada is a game where you make music with toys in a miniature blocky world. You set-up your little world and then take your train through different landscapes, machines and buildings to collect melodies and rhythms.

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Role-Play and Stealth

Developer: Hyper Games (@HyperGames)

Players: This is a single-player game

Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley is a musical adventure game where you restore the harmony of Moomin Valley from grotesque parks. It's the variety of play and the beloved characters that make this game a great experience for small (and not so small) kids.

Solas 128

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10-14 year-olds

Release Date: 25/01/2021

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Brain Game, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 38 features

Developer: Amicable Animal (@AmicableAnimal)

Players: This is a single-player game

Solas 128 is a thinking puzzle game where you redirect rhythmic pulses of light to restart an ancient machine. You rotate and position mirrors to connect light sources and unlock further puzzles. The novelty, beyond the retro visuals and rhythm is that...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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